Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 352

For today’s prompt, write an “are we there yet” poem. As someone who just survived a road trip with the whole family, that question comes up often (especially with the 4-year-old). But this question can be asked and maybe even answered on a range of topics unrelated to travel. And, yes, it’s okay to rephrase the question from “ARE WE there yet” to “AM I there yet”–or even “IS HE there yet” or “IS SHE there yet.”

Time to poem: Are you there yet?

*****

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Here’s my attempt at an Are We There Yet poem:

“viking fury”

we waited in the summer’s heat
to board the giant viking ship
that swings to & fro on each trip
& lo i’ve always kept my feet
planted firmly on solid earth
but today chose to take a chance
falling for this amused romance
& to know what this ride is worth

a few swings in i was alright
thinking of days on the playground
but then one more forth before back
nearly gave me a heart attack
& with each swing my fear was found
turning itself into pure fright

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He spent 37 years of his life not riding the Viking Fury at King’s Island…until this weekend. He’ll be happy to go another 37 (or more) without riding it again. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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133 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 352

  1. taylor graham

    RELIVING THE PAST

    The annual Wagon Train is due any minute,
    it’s behind schedule, moving on horse-
    time. A week out of Stateline, over the summit,
    down the west slope to here, where
    the whole town has lined up along the road
    to greet it, under ponderosa pine and incense-
    cedar higher than our human focus.
    I listen for hooves on pavement beyond
    a staged shoot ‘em up, wild-west marshals
    vs bad guys to warm up the crowd. No gunfire
    in front of the horses! A small girl bawls
    at each shot, she doesn’t understand historical
    re-enactment, she won’t be pacified with
    Pringles. Her dad’s caught up in the present,
    talking about felling trees for a living.
    I’m waiting for the horses. The wagon train is
    late, what’s keeping them? Of course –
    they move on horse-time. Pray a wheel didn’t
    break, and nobody fell off his mount.
    It’s been a long trail. May I learn patience
    from pine and cedar, the tall still standing trees.

  2. artifiswords

    WHERE AM I?

    How can I ask
    Whether I’m
    There yet…
    Doesn’t it matter
    That I don’t know
    Where I am?

    Not long ago
    Feeling lost…
    Searching my past
    To see when I
    Lost my way…
    Maybe know how

    When you give in
    To the demands
    Of another…
    To go along to
    Get along…
    What can you expect?

    Lost in confusion
    No longer…
    And no longer
    Not to stand
    My ground…
    Heels dug in

    Not sure where
    I find myself…
    Not there yet…
    But I’m on my way
    I’ll send coordinates
    When I’m sure

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:
    https://artifiswordpresscom.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/where-am-i/

  3. Deva Dube

    Are We There Yet?
    The answer was no the last time you asked
    To be honest I find the repetitive nature of your questioning
    annoying and don’t know why you continue to inquire about the state of our race
    when you already know our past

    Are we there yet?
    The answer is still no
    From the moment the feet of our ancestors stepped past
    the vast shores of mother Africa
    To the back of the bus Jim Crow rides
    And black bodies such as Emmett Till and the likes
    were coughed up from riptides
    Or lifeless cadavers swinging from trees
    dawning blood covered backs

    So, before you can ask
    The facts?
    No, we’re not there yet
    No, I don’t know when we’ll arrive
    Yes, the present situation scares the hell out of blacks
    There’s a great fear that we may never get there

    In fact, it becomes evidently clear when we hear about
    building walls to keep out undesirables
    But how long before THEM
    becomes all of Y’ALL
    When the excuse will be Marshall Law
    When all there’s left to do
    is fall back into overt hatred

    No, we’re not there yet,
    we haven’t let go of our isms
    that fuel our disregard for other’s lives
    But when we do,
    don’t worry, real truth
    I’ll be the first to proclaim
    we’ve arrived

  4. LCaramanna

    February
    frozen tears
    of snowflakes swirled on March winds,
    melted into April, showered
    May cherry blossoms,
    glistened fields of June strawberries
    melancholy mourning.
    Surrounded by summer sun,
    February’s tears flowed freely,
    anticipated fireworks of bitter sweet memories.
    When July arrived
    there would be no relief,
    only teardrops beneath a moonlit sky
    frozen in grief.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  5. carollilly

    There yet?
    Widowed in April, shot down in May,
    I’m here again to play.
    Who in the world am I now?
    I don’t know it.
    A widowed poet,
    who is she?
    this weeping me?
    who cries at nothing
    & everything?
    They say this grief will past
    it doesn’t last.
    Are we there yet?
    NO!

  6. Amaria

    A little late, but they always say it’s better late than never 🙂

    “The road I travel”

    the road I travel is long and winding
    every place I pass I glance with longing eyes
    my destination too far off in the distance
    and I feel like I’m running out of time

    my mind keeps asking have I gotten there yet
    my heart keeps answering I will some day
    I’m journeying along this unending road
    sure and unsure of the final destination

    By Arcadia Maria

  7. Ber

    Elasticated Hearts

    Follow on
    stretching arms
    gasping breath
    Distinguishing eyes

    Wafts of familiar ground
    silence falls
    not a single sound
    only hearts that pound

    Smeared glass
    fogged up by
    bated breath
    like tear drops

    Spirals of time
    spines of the bells chime
    steps of forward thoughts
    remains of the linen cloths

    Miles of road
    feet break new ground
    a life may never be found
    silence is the only sound

    Dirt tracks
    distance on their backs
    singular motions
    hope is their potion

  8. qbit

    Are We There Yet?

    I slowly
    Inch
    Myself closer and closer
    To your sleep,
    My skin wants to
    Go home
    To yours.

    Pressing further
    Into the warm smooth of your back
    My molecules could maybe
    Jump
    The gap –
    Tiny adventurers
    Cheering, fist bumping,
    “We did it!”

    The whole of us now
    Made from selfskin,
    like a dive suit
    For dreaming –

    Together we ride
    A drunken vortex,
    The room about us swirling out
    Under the door
    So that I bump my head
    On the floor and
    Even the dog
    Is pinned flat
    By the downward pull.

    The question is not one of having arrived.
    It is a question
    Of how we will ever
    Make our way back.

  9. Cynthia Page

    Destination Unknown

    Wonders upon wonders
    Space – open space
    Away they flew from Earth’s
    deep blue and sparking orb
    to seek the unknown
    the unknowable cosmos
    They carried our hope
    and our fears in a metal can
    They return – our investment
    with wondrous knowledge
    Wonders of wonders
    Space – deep open space

    1. Julieann

      This reminds me of an old ditty my Mom would sing, “I’m a goin’, I’m a goin’,I don’t know where I’m goin’, but I’m goin’.” Thanks for the memory. I love this. You’ve said it well.

  10. stargypsy

    Different Roads

    “Are we there yet?”
    I asked.
    “We are on the way
    but have more road
    in front of us,” you
    muttered.

    Sensing an underlying
    anger in that reply
    I turned my attention
    the scenery passing
    by as our tires at up
    mile after mile of
    black top highway

    Trees …
    then fields
    Houses …
    then buildings
    Small towns …
    Bigger small towns …
    And we continue
    South …

    I stopped asking
    long ago just where
    it was we were going
    And …
    ‘Are we there yet?’
    flowed through my mind
    yet never crossed my
    lips again as the sun
    began setting to my right

    Time for another nap
    I decided
    Much preferable to the
    silent anger coming from
    behind the steering wheel

    The last thing I remember
    is seeing the full moon
    through tall pines
    And …
    then nothingness as
    the car plunged over
    a deep embankment
    landing in water

    A final deep sleep
    and my last thought
    was …
    I guess we are here ….

    Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Poetry
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Annie

  11. grcran

    Nope Not Yet

    Awoke. Saw mars along with stars. New
    Blinds still not installed.
    Good red. You bet. Are we there yet. Win
    Wars then weep, appalled.
    Hard view of this belligeriss-tic
    Race to who knows where.
    We jeer. We cry. Our children die. They
    Never see we care.
    Poor refugees. Say thankyou please. Some
    Won’t be turned away.
    We pray for peace but cash police set
    Price too high to pay.
    With war they make great profits. Take it
    All dead or alive.
    We seek widespread tranquil not dread. To
    Watch our planet thrive.

    gpr crane

    1. ppfautsch24

      AM I THERE YET?
      Letting go, relaxing, and being still
      To garner a corner of peace in the morn.
      Letting the floorboards of my heart be flooded
      By calm waters, and my mind streamed
      With waves of flowing grace.
      Am I there yet, in this place?
      By Pamelap

      1. ppfautsch24

        NOT THERE YET
        Not yet ready to give up on love once again.
        Straining to hang on and let go of hanging
        On when it, and I am not there yet.
        By Pamelap

  12. Asha1000

    Are We There Yet?

    Back to when sunken cities
    were Atlantic myths

    Back to when shopping malls
    were for buying goods not chilling out

    Back to when a hundred-year-storm
    occurred once In a century

    Back to when the phrase “global warming”
    was not found in a dictionary

    Back to when two degrees Celsius rise
    was not a death knell for earth’s ecology

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  13. Kasey

    Am I There Yet? (And Would You Tell Me if I Was?)

    Am I the same me that I’ve always been?
    Or did I evolve and somehow forget?
    I’m not where I was, but am I there yet?

    Also, where is there, and will I know when
    I’ve arrived or is it kept a secret?
    Am I the same me that I’ve always been
    or did I evolve and somehow forget

    everything I’ve done, just to start again.
    Could I be a pawn in an age-old bet
    between two deities I’ve never met?
    Am I the same me that I’ve always been,
    or did I evolve and somehow forget?
    I’m not where I was, but am I there yet?

  14. Nurit Israeli

    AM I THERE YET?

    At crossroads,
    still wondering
    where the good way is.

    With fading eyesight,
    still searching −
    waiting for signs.

    Without road maps,
    still navigating
    uncharted territories.

    With weary feet,
    still seeking higher lookouts
    for better views.

    In seasoned hands,
    still holding the question:
    What IS the best place?

    Still curious:
    Am I there yet?
    Am I close enough?

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  15. Azma

    Is the weekend here yet?

    The end of a tiring day at work
    gets me a day closer to the weekend
    but it also gets me even closer
    to another tiring day,
    to the regular morning sigh
    of agreeing to the early alarm rant,
    to deadly deadlines
    that keep a firm-hand,
    to daily methods
    of tuning up exhaustion
    and to subtle pushes
    to increase production.
    But so is the light before the next tunnel-
    about which the Universe has to know
    is never wanted to end as eagerly.

    -Azma Sheikh

  16. Shennon

    As a child
    I never dared
    to ask
    “Are we there yet?”
    for fear of the
    knuckle that would
    thrash about over the
    front seat, striving
    to connect with a skull.
    Of course, with no law
    on safety restraints,
    dodging was more
    a game of skill
    than a survival technique.
    Still, as the oldest
    and favorite daughter,
    I tried to behave.
    So while my siblings
    whined and bickered
    on the endless car trip,
    I bit my tongue,
    still wondering,
    Are we there yet?

    –ShennonDoah

  17. RJ Clarken

    Travelling

    Why does it always
    seem like returning
    is a shorter trip
    than the one we make
    going to some place?

    I’ll say out loud,
    “Are we there yet?”
    when I know the
    answer to this.

    Still, the kid
    inside me
    wants to know.

    Arrive?
    Depart?

    When?

    ###

  18. Sara McNulty

    Family Trip

    Dad, how much longer until we’re there?
    I’m sure we passed this road before.
    Remember that diner, Eats Here?
    Dad, how much longer until we’re there?
    I have to pee, and Tom won’t share
    the popcorn–he is such a bore.
    Dad, how much longer until we’re there?
    I’m sure we passed this road before.

  19. trishwrites

    For Fort McMurray

    Children ask are we there yet
    How can they know
    there’s no going back home

    To charred remains
    It still rains
    ashes
    Or is it heaven
    crying
    death dust

    When the flames drove
    us out
    Hells fire it looked like
    The world ending

    We follow the road that
    burned as we fled
    Leading us back
    to what is left

    We will
    Rise from the ashes

  20. taylor graham

    TIMING

    Gymkhana’s all about time
    by the stopwatch.
    Why choose me for partner?
    I never could jump cowgirl-style
    astride bareback
    & be off in a flash of dust
    true grit
    bit between the teeth,
    my horse was way too tall
    for vaulting.
    Your horse was short.
    You leaped, clapped knees to girth,
    jabbed spurs
    & off around the barrel you galloped
    & back to pick me up – 1 second
    2 seconds lost
    while you looked back to see
    was I there yet? yes
    I was split-second astride your
    short horse – &
    all that time you squandered,
    we recouped
    like we were meant to be
    partners.

  21. De Jackson

    Delirious Dragons

    We breathe fire. Leave
    ash in our wake. Wake the dawn
    with our desire
    for scarlet smoke. We’re

    broke, but we don’t care. We
    stare into the sun, laugh
    at the moon’s penchant
    for melting away. We

    say what we mean
    and preen what we say
    with significant feathers.

    Whether you believe us
    or not, we’re rotten
    to the core, wanting more
    than all this asphalt skin
    and tumble here-there
    wrong. We’re far gone,
    but we’re near.

    And
    we are still
    ,
    waiting for the moment
    when the sign says
    You Are Here.

  22. SarahLeaSales

    Missing

    “I need to be there,” you always said,
    and there was never here—in the now,
    in whatever space you found yourself standing in.

    Your future always stole from your present,
    and so we were left with your past.
    You were without peripherals,
    suffering from hyperopia.

    We were never tall enough,
    or loud enough,
    or just enough.
    We reached for you,
    our arms like trees fighting for sunlight,
    but you were a vapor with a cell
    that imprisoned you,
    a mist with a career that made you feel
    like you had it all,
    even as it took everything you had.

    You showed up everywhere else,
    save your own life,
    with the lives you created.

    You were a stranger—
    the house fairy,
    the food fairy,
    the birthday present fairy.
    You made things happen
    behind the scenes;
    you were the part of the movie
    we never saw.

  23. taylor graham

    MIDNIGHT SCANT MOONLIGHT

    Ground fog – drifting over the old cemetery,
    gravestone of a man named Finch – obscures
    his dates, lifts across the phase of the moon.
    I came on impulse of winter midnight.
    Wool socks, flashlight with a fading beam.
    An owl hoots as if from an alien Beyond.
    When comes the unwrapping from our cloak
    of atmosphere? Here’s something to find,
    if I knew its name and how to safely get there.

  24. Jilllyman

    Hard Driven

    Sweat
    In the car
    Sour like boiled milk skimming
    Ugly the landscape syncopates beats its drum
    Hunger departed hours ago sulfurous
    Tedium bubbling through
    Windows

    States
    Change hands retelling
    Each one’s story of glory
    See Rock City Ruby Falls asleep again
    Bouncing tires on rumble strip
    Malls Pall Malls
    Smoked

    Sun
    Comes up behind
    Us faster than the interstate
    Are we there yet each one asks
    Inside our heads dry mouths
    Slobberless with no
    Words

  25. charmuse

    Getting to Greenwood

    Back seat drive out of Memphis South
    to crooked–humpback-lettered state, face
    a flatness of highway with uncontrived
    landscape boring into yawning mouth.
    Ask: how long? when? Sink, slumped pity
    ride then a sign for Stuckey’s, pralines by the case,
    one stop box shop sweet pecan taste to forget the city,
    slow chew down to grandpa’s carport, we’ve arrived.

    ~ Charise M. Hoge
    http://www.mixandmosspoetry.com

  26. Anthony94

    On the Edge of Town

    Two seaters taxi in from the tarmac
    and park outside the diner pinned
    to the apron. Props slow to a stop
    and pilots climb out, the occasional
    passenger. Red checkered tablecloths
    and a roll of industrial paper towels
    adorn each table. They’ve come
    for the barbecue that the ponytailed
    pit master struggles over under the
    side sheds canopy. We watch them
    land and takeoff, yellow, green,
    white, and marvel at how folks will
    fill up and then ascend the skies
    again. I remember my last flight
    up the coast of South America,
    the long of it, the endless lumbering
    of engines and wings through air.
    My wondering are we there yet
    until sleep claimed me under the
    navy blue airline blanket and the
    mantra ceased for the moment.
    Consider if the girl in the bright
    dress with no ring on her finger
    just goes along for the ride or if
    she arches her back and wonders.

  27. Piddleville

    Aspirations

    Nearly almost; ever soon;
    you are always closing on it,
    “it” the place where you’ve been headed
    since the days when all the dreaming
    filled your head and hobbled you
    with tardiness and inattention
    as you aspired beyond your reach,
    almost in your reach,
    where others would not reach,
    nearly almost in your hands,
    always ever close and soon.
    Are you there yet?
    Almost nearly; ever always
    you will almost have it.

    William Wren

  28. Nancy Posey

    Reading the Obituaries for Confirmation of Life

    No tea leaves swirling in the bottom of the china cup
    spell out the future quite the way the daily newspaper,
    tossed before I wake onto the gravel drive, reveals
    the future. This most venerable survivor of print
    changes little. Only the way I read changes, only
    my point of focus. Once drawn to the weddings,
    the news of newborns, photographic images, black
    and white, capturing attendees at charity events,
    the Swan Ball, the Steeplechase after-parties,
    I know search the obituaries, young faces beneath
    Navy hats giving lie to the ages of the deceased.
    My list of what not to print when I go grows—
    no nicknames in quotation marks, no photos
    showing oxygen tubes or cellphones. No pictures,
    I insist, if all you can find is my driver’s license.
    I practice my mathematics, average the ages
    of the dead, subtracting mine, sighing in relief
    to scan the names and say, We’re not there yet.

    1. PressOn

      Lee Hayes once put a verse on this: “If I’m not there, I know I’m not dead, so I eat a good breakfast and roll back to bed.” This piece makes me wonder how often the obits are read today, what with newspaper reading declining as folks choose to look things up on line.

  29. Connie Peters

    Are We There Yet?

    In the mood to drive
    With soft rock turned high
    First feeling fearful
    Narrow mountain pass
    Calling on angels

    Avoid potholes
    Crushed dead critters
    Large tumbling rocks
    Extreme drop-offs

    Wildflowers
    Dazzling falls
    Swaying pines

    Breathe in
    Fresh air

    Joy

  30. deringer1

    AM I THERE YET?

    Such a long journey!
    My train made many stops.
    Some people got off along my way
    while others got on.

    The tracks not always straight,
    the side trips sometimes long, but
    I always came back even when tempted
    to give up on the trip.

    I look now, and see fewer friends
    who got on the train with me.
    The journey is lonely now,
    the scenery uninspiring.

    So I wonder, how much farther?
    No one can tell me exactly
    what is the destination.
    Perhaps I shall be there soon.

  31. PowerUnit

    I have yet to glimpse light
    empty hallways and bunkered hills.
    That new car we just bought, our first new anything
    since the kids were little.
    An illusion of our own lost youth, the man who sold it to us
    a lad who graduated high school with our son.
    He sounded so experienced with life, but we had no heart
    to tell him we didn’t care, he really didn’t matter.

    Today I write the novel that is going to make me famous.
    I won’t die in poverty, but I won’t be buried
    in money we trust
    a last ditch effort to correct the course of my ship.

  32. ReathaThomasOakley

    Are we there yet

    Lord won’t give us, her voice breaks,
    more than we can bear, but these nights,
    these days watching Mama die, my faith
    is sorely tested, I can’t remember how to pray.

    I struggle for something to send across the miles,
    some balm to heal her heart, but, my words are
    empty platitudes, even before voiced.

    Then, sixty years fall away, we are girls again,
    giggling in the backseat of my Daddy’s car,
    heading to the beach, a journey of just a few miles
    that seemed to last forever before we could run into the surf.

    Barbara, I begin, hoping she will understand,
    do you happen to recall, back when we were young…

  33. writinglife16

    ARE WE THERE, HALLELUJAH

    We counted the mile markers
    with an almost religious fervor.
    Shouts of hallelujah and clapping
    Accompanied each sign
    we passed.
    Heat and bathroom stops
    guided our trip.

    When we got home exhausted,
    near hysteria and
    bordering on dehydration,
    I wondered why I had thought
    drinking lots of cranberry
    iced tea before going
    on the road was a good idea?

    1. Julieann

      We relate to the mile markers. The kids were excited to see the ones getting close to grandma’s house! As for the tea – I’d better sans any flavor.

  34. Julieann

    Yet Again

    Visiting the seven
    Wonders of the World
    Relishing cross
    Country rail travel
    Exploring along
    Route 66
    Even going to
    Granny’s
    Traveling the world
    Or around the block
    Sights may change
    The question
    Rarely does —
    “Are we there yet?”

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